Starbucks has resumed sit-in trade across its 800 stores in Shanghai as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased in China's ‘coffee capital’
Public health regulations in Shanghai now enable stores to serve customers at up to 70% of seating capacity | Photo credit: Starbucks
Starbucks China has resumed sit-in trade across its 800 stores in Shanghai, China, following the lifting of the majority of Covid-19 lockdown measures in April.
Shanghai, home to the highest concentration of Starbucks stores in the world, has been hit hard by Covid-19 trading restrictions in recent months, with the commercial centre under a strict lockdown for most of April and May as part of the country's zero-Covid policy.
Starbucks has celebrated the ‘gradual return to normalcy’ in the city, with public health regulations enabling stores to serve customers at up to 70% of seating capacity, depending on store size. Social distancing measures remain in place.
“Customers’ craving for Starbucks and longing for human reconnection have never been felt more keenly as we emerge from the most severe Covid resurgences in China. Our 10,000 partners are excited to welcome customers back to the Starbucks third place, as we resume dining-in services in 800 stores in the short space of 48 hours. It’s Starbucks modest contribution to help Shanghai customers return to their pre-outbreak routines and lifestyles, and get the city back to its renowned buzz and vibrancy,” said Leo Tsoi, CEO, Starbucks China.
Starbucks’ most recent fiscal results reported a 23% decrease in comparible store sales in China, its largest market outside the US, highlighting the impact that lockdown restrictions in the country have had on the coffee chain.
The Seattle-based coffee chain views China as a key growth market and is targeting 6,000 stores in the country by the end of the 2022. However, Starbucks faces renewed competition from a resurgent Luckin Coffee which posted its first ever quarterly profit in May 2022 and now operates 6,580 sites locations in China.